Friday, September 29, 2017

The new McCarthyism and the suppression of political dissent – SEP Newsletter

From WSWS:

The new McCarthyism and the suppression of political dissent

By Andre Damon
The McCarthyite witch-hunts of the 1950s are viewed, among all thinking people, as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the United States. The term “McCarthyism” is synonymous with false allegations, intimidation and character assassination to serve the most reactionary political aims.
Now, seven decades later, a new period of political witch-hunting has begun, spearheaded by the Democratic Party and the media outlets principally associated with it, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Political dissent is being associated with treason. The notorious phrase of the McCarthyites, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” is in the process of being revived and revised: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a critic of the US government?” If the answer is "yes," that is tantamount to an admission that you are a stooge, if not an agent, of Russia and the devil-like Vladimir Putin. Read more »
Why is the far-right benefiting from the crisis of capitalism?
By Barry Grey
Sunday’s election in Germany saw the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and collapse of the official left party, the Social Democratic Party. With more than 90 deputies in the incoming parliament, the entry of the AfD will mark the first time since the end of the Third Reich that outright fascists and racists participate in the national legislature.
Far from an exception, the electoral triumph of the neo-fascist party in Germany is part of a pattern being repeated again and again throughout Europe and internationally.
Why has the decade following the greatest crisis of world capitalism since the 1930s, which nearly brought down the entire financial system and ushered in policies of brutal austerity and militarism internationally, seen a steady strengthening of far-right parties? Why have the social democratic and labor parties and the Democratic Party in the US not only failed to win support as a result of the gutting of social programs and impoverishment of broad sections of the working class, but have suffered defeat after defeat? Read more »
Trump to devastated Puerto Rico: Wall Street must be paid!
By Bill Van Auken
The US colonial territory of Puerto Rico has been devastated by a disaster that has left its population of 3.5 million in the midst of a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe.
Much of the island looks like it was hit by an atomic bomb. The already fragile electrical grid has been largely destroyed, leaving millions literally in the dark and without power for air-conditioning or even fans, as Puerto Rico faces 90-degree temperatures and high humidity.
Nearly one week after Hurricane Maria struck the island with the full force of a near-Category 5 storm, US President Donald Trump took his first public notice of the disaster with a Monday night tweet. “Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble,” Trump tweeted. “Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars...owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.” Read more »
Puerto Rican people still without aid a week after Hurricane Maria
By Rafael Azul
It has been seven days since Hurricane Maria swept over Puerto Rico. As each day passes, and with hundreds of towns and villages in the island’s interior that have yet to be heard from, information emerges that helps complete the picture of chaos and devastation that Governor Ricardo Rossello and the islands’ mayors and politicians are calling a “humanitarian crisis” for the island’s 3.4 million inhabitants.
Rossello has stated that Puerto Rico will need “tens of billions of dollars” to recover from the destruction of Hurricane Maria and is demanding massive help from Washington, insisting that those suffering are all US citizens “and proud of it.”
However the aid requested by Rossello will not come any time soon. The Trump administration has made it clear that it does not plan to ask Congress for money for Puerto Rico until next week, or the following week, supposedly because FEMA must first appraise the damage. Read more »
Watch: St. Louis police suppress protests against police violence
To fight police brutality, break with the Democrats and Republicans!
As popular anger builds, US sends military to Puerto Rico
By Rafael Azul
On Thursday, September 28, the USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship, was dispatched toward Puerto Rico as part of the plan for military intervention in the island. Although the move has been presented by the Trump administration as a necessary response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, it is chiefly aimed at containing potential civil unrest.
In addition to the 1,500 troops of the Puerto Rican National Guard already involved in rescue efforts, Governor Ricardo Roselló announced that thousands more US Army and National Guard soldiers will be sent. This will be the largest US military intervention in Puerto Rican history, according to government officials. Read more »
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